The comings and goings on a nature reserve

I think my arrival at Titchwell must have coincided with a change of shift or something among the birds. Gently, ever so gently, I poked my head above the counter in the hide and almost immediately the swans, who had been creating a terrible fuss for the past few minutes decided to leave.

There was a general muttering among some of the occupants of the hide about the colour of my camera lens – white! Had I frightened the swans? Highly unlikely.

Then a few black-headed gulls took an interest – arrived, swooped and departed stage right. I guess they thought I had brought some food for them – not a chance. That was clearly the task of the young family just outside on half-term holiday, who enjoyed feeding the birds – more grunts from the birders.

Next came the geese. Whatever one says about geese, one has to admit there is never anything subtle about their arrival. It is spectacular, awe-inspiring and in the last resort quite noisy. Grunts of approval from the hide dwellers.  Observed that I didn’t get any thanks for it though.

One stranger passed – “A snipe” I hissed! “Godwit” came the reply, but I wasn’t sure if that was a description of the bird or a comment on my inability to correctly recognise species. It also sparked a disagreement among the hide dwellers, which made more noise than ever I had. So I leave my readers with my unresolved riddle. I am sure someone will tell me the answer.

I reckon I had more success out in the open on my own. Sure enough within minutes a red kite seemed to take a fancy to my lens. After a good deal of circling he positioned himself between me and the late morning sun. Not the best place for taking a photograph, but we got there in the end.

The cormorant clearly had a lunch appointment somewhere else. He didn’t even stop to say “hello”

The kestrel on the other hand had specific ideas about what he wanted. After much toing and froing he decided on a tasty morsel about 20 metres away from me and was never seen again.

A bit like the remaining swan really – who just left.

I shall do the same – see you next week.